Draft Customs Code

08 July 2013

The new Customs Code (known as the UCC) is expected to be published by the end of November 2013.  The text has now been agreed between the European Council and European Parliament.  The 255 page agreement is now available here.

Discussions on the EU Commission Delegated and Implementing Acts will begin in the New Year.  These Acts put meat on the bones of the new Customs Code and are required to give the Code its effect.  We understand these Acts will come in to effect in May 2016 but some of the measures may not be fully implemented until 2020.

The UCC introduces a new process which the EU Commission must follow in preparing Commission Regulations.

Some key points include:

  • Centralised customs clearance so that authorised businesses can clear imports in to all EU Member States from one Member State;
  • Self Assessment of Customs Duties;
  • Simplifications (reducing the number of customer procedures (and reliefs));
  • Introduction of the need to provide guarantees for actual debts (as currently is the case under duty deferment arrangements) and also potential debts (goods under temporary storage and special procedures like customs warehousing);
  • Greater incentive to hold Authorised Economic Operator Status as this will be required for centralised clearance, self assessment and to reduce or negate the need to provide guarantees;
  • First Sale planning which allows the importer to use an earlier sale in the supply chain for customs valuation purposes will survive;
  • Temporary storage will operate as a status rather than a special procedure.

The new Customs Code will have a significant impact on many importers.  We are expecting a surge in applications for AEO status to mitigate against the new Guarantee procedures and businesses will need to realign their duty planning against the new customs rules.

Please contact us to arrange a meeting to discuss how these changes will impact on your business and whether any new opportunities or compliance threats will arise.

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